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- School Board Director since 2007
- Contract Specialist, BioTronics Inc.
- Resides in Beechview
- Cross-filed as both Democrat and Republican for the 2011 spring election
- Opponent in spring 2011, Lisa Jones
Candidate meeting in April 2011Edit
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My training and experiences at Verizon, as well as the education I received from Robert Morris University, in conjunction with my life as a single mother raising four children, has given me a unique perspective. I try to be open-minded in situations, preferring to hear benefits as well as challenges prior to making a decision. Generally I am patient when dealing with others who I try to treat with respect.
Being a believer in Reform Governance, I am willing to learn more so that I can be a more effective representative. My strength is in my attitude as well as my aptitude. I took the lead to re-align our meeting schedule so that the Public Hearing takes place between Agenda Review and the Legislative meeting. This gives all of our stakeholders an opportunity to speak out on the issues we are voting on each month.
The role of the School Board is to govern. We do this by setting a vision, establishing Core Beliefs, creating and revising Policy, and working with the superintendent to accomplish our goals. Our biggest challenge is to govern, rather than manage. Many constituents expect us to intervine of their behalf in the daily operation of the District. I will continue to try to help others understand this even though they often get frustrated with me.
One of the areas I am focused on is accountability. Beginning with our students and their families through our teachers, support personnel, administration and finally with the Board, we must all do the best we can to insure our students succeed. We must eliminate finger-pointing and blame. One partial solution is through communication. I intend to continue attending events throughout the district. These help me to understand the concerns of both parents and employees.
Our most critical issue is the effect of the budget cuts on education reform. How do we show fiscal responsibility while maintaining a focus on improvement? We can eliminate all the extra programs we've added, take away 55 pre-school classes and drop all those expensive after-school programs. Sure, we can do that. How then will be educate our students who need us the most?
I can't be specific. I don't know the answer. There is no simple answer. Everyone will lose something. I will continue to work with Dr. Lane as we systematically review every aspect of our finances. The impact of the proposed state budget is a problem that can't be underestimated. Balancing finances with reform to insure we continue our forward movement is a challenge that we can't lose. Our children must be educated and Excellence for All must be a reality, not a slogan.
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